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CHARLES CALEB COLTON
English sportsman and writer
(1780 - 1832)
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All who have been great and good without Christianity would have been much greater and better with it. If there be, amongst the sons of men, a single exception to this maxim, the divine Socrates may be allowed to put in the strongest claim. It was his high ambition to deserve, by deeds, not by creeds, an unrevealed heaven, and by works, not by faith, to enter an unpromised land.
      - [Christianity]

Ambition is to the mind what the cap is to the falcon; it blinds us first, and then compels us to tower by reason of our blindness. But alas! when we are at the summit of a vain ambition, we are also at the depth of misery.
      - [Ambition]

Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth. She begins by accumulating power as a mean to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an end.
      - [Ambition]

An act, by which we make one friend and one enemy, is a losing game; because revenge is a much stronger principle than gratitude.
      - [Friendship]

An elegant writer has observed, that wit may do very well for a mistress, but that he should prefer reason for a wife.
      - [Wit]

Anger is practical awkwardness.
      - [Anger]

Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either of them receives.
      - [Health]

Antithesis may be the blossom of wit, but it will never arrive at maturity unless sound sense be the trunk, and truth the root.
      - [Style]

Any one can give advice, such as it is, but only a wise man knows how to profit by it.
      - [Advice]

Aristotle has said that man is by nature a social animal, and he might have added, a selfish one too. Heroism, self-denial, and magnanimity in all instances, where they do not spring from a principle of religion, are but splendid altars on which we sacrifice one kind of self-love to another.
      - [Selfishness]

As a man of pleasure, by a vain attempt to be more happy than any man can be, is often more miserable than most men are, so the sceptic, in a vain attempt to be wise beyond what is permitted to man, plunges into a darkness more deplorable, and a blindness more incurable than that of the common herd, whom he despises, and would fain instruct.
      - [Skepticism]

As no roads are so rough as those that have just been mended, so no sinners are so intolerant as those that have just turned saints.
      - [Intolerance]

As that gallant can best affect a pretended passion for one woman who has no true love for another, so he that has no real esteem for any of the virtues can best assume the appearance of them all.
      - [Deceit]

As the dimensions of the tree are not always regulated by the size of the seed, so the consequences of things are not always proportionate to the apparent magnitude of those events that have produced them.
      - [Consequences]

As the gout seems privileged to attack the bodies of the wealthy, so ennui seems to exert a similar prerogative over their minds.
      - [Ennui]

As the grand discordant harmony of the celestial bodies may be explained by the simple principles of gravity and impulse, so also in that more wonderful and complicated microcosm, the heart of man, all the phenomena of morals are perhaps resolvable into one single principle, the pursuit of apparent good; for although customs universally vary, yet man in all climates and countries is essentially the same.
      - [Motive]

As the rays of the sun, notwithstanding their velocity, injure not the eye, by reason of their minuteness, so the attacks of envy, notwithstanding their number, ought not to wound our virtue by reason of their insignificance.
      - [Envy]

As there are none so weak that we may venture to injure them with impunity, so there are none so low that they may not at some time be able to repay an obligation. Therefore, what benevolence would dictate, prudence would confirm.
      - [Benevolence]

As there are some faults that have been termed faults on the right side, so there are some errors that might be denominated errors on the safe side. Thus we seldom regret having been too mild, too cautious, or too humble; but we often repent having been too violent, too precipitate, or too proud.
      - [Faults]

"As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will," says Socrates, "he will be sure to repent."
      - [Celibacy]

As we ascend in society, like those who climb a mountain, we shall find that the line of perpetual congelation commences with the higher circles; and the nearer we approach to the grand luminary the court, the more frigidity and apathy shall we experience.
      - [Society]

Atheism is a system which can communicate neither warmth nor illumination, except from those fagots which your mistaken zeal has lighted up for its destruction.
      - [Atheism]

Attempts at reform, when they fail, strengthen despotism; as he that struggles, tightens those cords he does not succeed in breaking.
      - [Reformation]

Avarice begets more vices than Priam did children and like Priam survives them all. It starves its keeper to surfeit those who wish him dead, and makes him submit to more mortifications to lose heaven than the martyr undergoes to gain it.
      - [Avarice]

Avarice has ruined more men than prodigality, and the blindest thoughtlessness of expenditure has not destroyed so many fortunes as the calculating but insatiable lust of accumulation.
      - [Avarice]


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